RPT: Controller Told Pilot to Land at Nonexistent Runway Before Fatal Crash
A preliminary report has revealed that an air traffic controller told a pilot that he could land on a nonexistent runway at a closed New York airport shortly before his plane crashed on train tracks.
According to the report, 59-year-old Joseph Milo was flying from Westhampton Beach to New Jersey when he said he was having a problem and had to land.
Milo was worried he wouldn’t be able to make it to the closest airport, Republic Airport, so the controller told him about a landing strip at a closed airport.
The NTSB said that the pilot explained that he couldn’t see the runway, while the air traffic controller continued to detail its location.
But that landing strip no longer exists; the site is now home to industrial buildings.
The plane crashed on the Long Island Rail Road tracks, about a quarter-mile from the runway and 8 miles from Republic, the closest airport. Milo was killed, and a passenger was injured.
The Federal Aviation Administration did not comment on the report.